Manawaru School - 22/10/2019

School Context

Manawaru School is a small rural school located about 13 kilometres from the township of Te Aroha. It is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. The school roll of 80, includes a small number of Māori and Asian students.

The principal is currently the lead principal for the Te Aroha Kāhui Ako. The board of trustees is unchanged from last year and the chairperson is beginning her second term. Trustees take part in training with an external provider as well as involvement with the Kāhui Ako professional development. Three teachers have joined the staff since the December 2016 ERO evaluation. There are currently four classrooms.

The vision states that the school is, ‘empowering learners for their future’ and is closely aligned to the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum. The school logo reflects local aspirations and context.

The 2019 – 2021 strategic plan states three overarching goals to:

  • grow learner capacity and capability

  • embed the vision culture

  • grow high performing leadership.

The school is a member of the Te Aroha Kāhui Ako. The school’s charter goals align with the Kāhui Ako goals to build seamless transitions within schools and across the learning community, and to increase achievement of priority students in mathematics.

Leaders and teachers gather and report to the board school wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

Overall achievement information during 2018 shows that the majority of students achieve well in relation to curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement over time has improved for all learners in writing. Outcomes in reading and mathematics have remained relatively the same.

Achievement for boys and girls in writing has improved over time. There is no gender disparity in mathematics. Girls continue to outperform boys in reading and writing.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is accelerating achievement for some students who need this.

The 2018 achievement information shows that some of the at-risk students, including Māori, made accelerated progress in writing and mathematics. There are a number of students with English as a second language, who are closely monitored and supported to fully access the curriculum.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school’s vision and values are well-embedded in daily practices. Leaders build trusting and respectful relationships with students, parents and staff. Sound organisational practices and processes are in place to improve teaching and learning and positive educational outcomes for students.

The school promotes an inclusive culture where students are confident in their identity and have a strong sense of belonging. Diversity and difference is valued and celebrated. Individual needs of students, including those at-risk of not achieving, are catered for with responses that are timely and appropriate. Differentiated learning programmes for individual students are implemented.

Bi-cultural practices are strongly evident. Respectful tuakana teina relationships are fostered and promote wellbeing. The school recognises the need to strengthen the meaningful inclusion of te reo Māori in the curriculum.

Students learn, achieve and make progress through a broad curriculum that promotes purposeful and localised learning opportunities. Students are able to talk about their current learning. Teachers understand that students’ ownership of their learning pathways is an area for greater consistency. Students value the way they are listened to and the choices they have about their learning opportunities and leadership programmes.

The school and community are effectively engaged in learning-centred relationships. Leaders and teachers actively build respectful partnerships with parents through a variety of valued communication strategies. There is strong community support for the school in a wide range of activities and events. Proactive identification and use of community resources and expertise enhance learning opportunities and wellbeing. Parents enjoy the openness and transparent practices that underpin all aspects of school life.

Strengthened internal evaluation, with external support, has informed targeted professional learning and development. This is well-aligned to the school’s strategic direction and teacher needs. Trustees and leaders work collaboratively.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Aspects of internal evaluation need further development. Leaders and teachers closely monitor and report on individual children’s achievement and progress. However, collating assessment information to identify trends, patterns and rates of progress over time for groups of learners is necessary to further enhance decision making.

Students are able to talk about their current learning but are not yet able to link this to their levels of learning and pathways. Examples of effective teaching practices are evident, including provision of regular feedback and feed forward and strategies that promote students’ understandings of their current learning. These practices are not yet consistently embedded across the school to empower students to take greater responsibility for their learning.

3 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board and principal of the school completed the ERO board assurance statement and self-audit checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • finance
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Manawaru School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • collaborative leadership that is focused on school improvement

  • learning-focused relationships that underpin productive partnerships for achievement

  • an inclusive culture of care that builds students’ confidence, responsibility and sense of belonging

  • a responsive curriculum that supports valued learning outcomes.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • use of collated achievement data to further inform decision making
  • enhancing students’ understanding of their progress and next steps to build empowerment and responsibility for their own learning.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should be vigilant about possible hazards. Since the onsite phase of the ERO evaluation the board has addressed a potential safety risk pertaining to pool access.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

22 October 2019

About the school


Te Aroha

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 44, Female 36

Ethnic composition

Māori 8
NZ European/Pākehā 55
Other ethnic groups  17

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

22 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2016
Education Review December 2013
Education Review January 2011